Corstens back with Zabeelionaire's SA Derby win
VETERAN trainer Leon Corstens was back in the group 1 winner's circle yesterday when Zabeelionaire claimed the South Australian Derby aided by a rails-hugging ride from champion jockey Damien Oliver.
Corstens' last group 1 win was the 2010 Oakleigh Plate with Starspangledbanner who went on to win the Golden Jubilee and July Cup in England under Aidan O'Brien after being sold to Coolmore.
The Melbourne trainer also put the polish on Mosheen when she ran second in the 2011 Golden Slipper.
But Corstens' ill health prompted a stable switch to Robert Smerdon for the filly's three-year-old campaign which has netted four group 1 wins.
Zabeelionaire started the Derby at Morphettville as the $4 equal favourite with Strike The Stars, runner-up to Mosheen in the group 1 Australian Guineas earlier this year.
After racing midfield with Essence setting the pace, Zabeelionaire finished off the 2500 metres on the fence to beat Victoria Derby placegetter Sabrage ($21) by half a length with Westsouthwest ($21) another 1¼ lengths third.
Strike The Stars finished fourth, 3¼ lengths from the winner.
Zabeelionaire is by Australasia's champion sire of stayers out of Carnegie mare Kisumu and the Derby was his third win from 11 starts.